A University of Michigan research team has found that introducing a growth factor protein into a mouth wound using gene therapy helped generate bone around dental implants, according to a new paper in the February issue of the journal Molecular Therapy.
In a patient with a sizeable mouth wound, replacing a tooth takes more than simply implanting a new one---the patient also needs the bone structure to anchor the new tooth in place. Such reconstructive surgery today involves either taking a bone graft from the patients chin or jaw, which leaves a second wound needing to heal, or using donated bone from a tissue bank, which yields unpredictable results.
William Giannobile, professor of periodontics, prevention and geriatrics, led a team at the U-M School of Dentistry that delivered the gene encoding for bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) to large bone defects in rats in an attempt to turn on the bodys own bone growth mechanisms. The study showed that animals that got the BMP-7 treatment produced nearly 50 percent more supporting bone around dental implants than those receiving the conventional treatment.
Colleen Newvine | EurekAlert!
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